Whisking Chicken Cordon Bleu

14 03 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu is a French-inspired poultry dish, although evidence suggests that Chicken Cordon Bleu was actually developed in the United States by chefs imitating other stuffed meat dishes from Europe. The name of the dish is clearly of French origin – Cordon Bleu means “blue ribbon” in French, and in French culinary tradition, the Cordon Bleu is awarded to food or chefs of particularly high quality. The European dish most similar to Chicken Cordon Bleu is Chicken Kiev, chicken stuffed with seasoned butter, dredged in bread crumbs, and fried. The dish was also likely heavily influenced by Veal Cordon Bleu, a Swiss dish in which veal is wrapped in ham and cheese and fried. Wisegeek

And here I’ve been thinking this was a Le Cordon Bleu dish…son of a gun.  Oh well.  So much for that!  LOL!  Remember that chicken we had left over back on Monday?  It’s been waiting for today.  Bone the breast, halve and pound it to 1/4 inch thickness (I use a gallon size zip-top bag coated with olive oil).  Place the chicken half-breast on a length of plastic wrap on a damp cutting board.  Either cut a battonette of whole cheese and enfold it in black forest ham (or prosciutto).  I like to use a couple thin slices of ham around broken slices of swiss cheese.  Fold the chicken up and around the cheese and ham like the filling in a burrito or egg roll, adjusting the plastic out as you work. Wrap the rolled chicken with the plastic. Place the wrapped, rolled portions in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.  This will firm the shape, let the chicken rest a bit, and give us time to get the stock going.

cb-chicken

Into a 3 quart saucepan, put the chicken skin, fat, and fatty pieces to render cooking fat.  Meanwhile, roughly chop an onion, smash 2 cloves of garlic, slice half a peeled carrot and prepare a bouquet garni.  Remove any large chicken pieces and add the chopped, smashed and sliced vegetables to the oil.  Cook until onion is lightly carmelized.  Add chicken pieces to pan and cover with water.  Add the bouquet garni.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the chicken is cooked.

When chicken has rested, stir an egg until it is well mixed.  Dip the chicken portion in the egg, then into Panko crumbs.  Repeat with remaining portions.  Brown the chicken portions on all sides in an oven-ready skillet.  When browned, move skillet to oven heated at 350ºF for 20-30 minutes, or until chicken tests done at the ends.  Remove chicken to a platter and keep warm while preparing sauce.

Strain the stock into a heat-proof measuring cup (about a quart should be enough).  Skim off a bit of fat from the top of the broth and make a blond roux with 2 Tbsp. of flour and 2 Tbsp. chicken fat.  Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and a couple sprigs of thyme to the pan.  Bring to a boil and simmer briefly.  Serve extra sauce in a boat at the table.

chickncb

I know…our assignment this week was to have fun today.  And I did.  This is what’s fun to me!  Go poke around in the kitchen, see what we’ve got that I can mess with and have a blast.  This wasn’t planned.  It just happened to be what was in the house at the moment. Black forest ham was on sale last week, and we eat sandwiches almost every afternoon, so we always have cheese and sliced something here.  One thing I love about Whisk Wednesdays is learning the techniques and combinations of flavors.  There’s so many things I wouldn’t have thought of before!   We’re really catching onto the differences a few herbs and essenses add to foods.  Thanks so much Shari!!

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3 responses

19 03 2009
Kayte

This might look fun, but mostly it just looks plain delicious! Happy to hear you had a great time!

18 03 2009
Shari

This looks so good! And great to spend a day doing just what you want!!

15 03 2009
Natashya

Oh yummy! Can I come over? I am hungry just looking at it.

ps, how are my nephews/nieces doing?

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